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[teacherartexchange] New self portraits on our site - Funny Face distorted portraits by 5th


Date: Thu Apr 28 2005 - 05:11:48 PDT

Hi all,
     I am currently putting on some pretty fantastic portraits by my 5th
grade class. So far there are about 10, but I will be adding more as
they are finished. These are the "Funny Face" portraits that are in a
lesson plan in Incredible Art Department. It's all about proportion and
right brain drawing techniques. Kids see distorted portraits by
Leonardo and others, and they pose for their own portrait for a
photograph that they work from. Their faces in the photograph are
supposed to be distorted, very emotional, etc. We start with one eye
and then measure to see how many eye widths away their other eye is,
make marks for it, then draw the second eye. Measure the nose on the
photo and compare it to the size of the eyes. Then go to their portriat
and make marks for how long and wide their nose will be before they draw
it. All features and lengths and widths of the head are done in this
way...measure the next thing they need to figure out on the photo and
then compare it to the eyes on the photo. Other things that help are
looking at what is directly above, beside, or below something they are
trying to draw, and a technique I call "dry tracing", where they pretend
to draw on the photo...looking for shapes, shadows, highlights, small
but important detail. I think this technique actually helps them to key
in on specific details better than any other. I tell them to imagine
(while dry tracing) how hard they might have to press on their pencil to
obtain the various values they see in the highlights and shadows, and to
think about what shape a shadow or highlight is. We don't use tracing
paper, rather, they just go over their photos with a pencil point a
hair's breadth above the actual photo as they investigate it. Every
single kid in my class is blowing my socks off with their portraits this
year. They are loving it! When they finish their own portrait they are
drawing their friends. I am so excited to have something with so much
meat in it at the end of the year that they are so interested in and
doing such a great job. To see them the most easily, go to,
click on "Students", scroll to the bottom of the student page and click
on "view other galleries". There you will see the most recent additions
to our lower school art gallery. If you want to see the whole gallery,
click on "Arts" on the home page or student page and follow the cues to
the middle or lower school gallery.

Visit our Lower and Middle School Art Gallery Sites:
Click on Arts, Lower School or Middle School, Gallery

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